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Teens & Sex

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-Chocolate is the 8th wonder, warm chocolate the night--- just seconds in the microwave and indulgence is served. Betty Crocker Warm Delights, you're just 3 minutes from heaven. -Sex is a tough topic of conversation for both parents and teens. Parents wanna know how to talk to their kids to keep them safe and informed, while kids want their information to come from the trusted source without any awkwardness attached. Hi, I'm Betty Wang, executive editor of Family Circle Magazine. Recently, Parents TV spoke with experts on the subject to help both parents and teens get the information they need to start talking about sex. -We're gonna talk about adolescent sexuality and what parents can do to help their kids get through adolescents to become sexuality healthy adults. -My parents were usually never very open about sex. They would never talk about sex. -Parents [unk] as they do with everything else in life. They have to start talking to kids at developmentally appropriate levels from the time kids are talking. And parents have to keep talking-- keep talking. That's what I told parents that asked me is-- keep having those conversations every day. -When I talk about sex, I do talk to my girlfriends that are mostly are older than me today-- kind of-- have a little more information about that than I would, so-- -By not talking to their kids, they're not giving up being the primary sexuality educators. What they are doing is inviting a whole world of other folks who just love to teach their kids about sex-- that's our job as parents, is to be there to support our kids. The easy times are easy, it's the tough times. Scare tactics, you know, if you ever get pregnant or if you ever get someone pregnant, don't bother coming home. Don't help. They don't make it less likely that your child is gonna get pregnant or get someone pregnant. It just makes it more likely that they're not gonna know where to turn. -I think my mom is more of a-- don't ask, don't tell what she knows. So it's kinda like I'm here, if you need me but-- it just kinda like that. -When you look at the level of conversation that kids are having-- there's a freedom when you're not face to face with someone. You can say all sorts of things that you would never dare face to face. But the new way for kids to communicate is not telephoning, it's texting. And there's a whole new way of social networking that's going on with kids that the ramifications we still are have yet to see but it's allowing them-- there's an indemnity to it as well that's allowing it to see things and try out things. There are much fuller in personally than [unk]. -I think that boys are more open to talk about it in front of anybody and girls are more open to talk about it with their-- like closer girlfriends, but not much in a disrespectful kind of way. -Yeah. -We definitely respect all the girls when we talk about it and that kind of stuff, you know. -Yeah. -Technology is revolutionizing the world of sexuality for adolescent. If you look at the internet, pornography is so accessible to young people now that there's one statistic that something like 60 percent of teenagers had seen internet pornography, and for a lot of them, it had been by accident. Parents should be aware of all the resources that they have disposal. Parents are still the primary sexuality educators of their kids-- no question about that whether they wanna be or they don't wanna be, they are. -If you're looking for a place where your teen can safely and comfortably find out more about sex, check out this website which is run by teens, for teens. -When it comes to sexuality, some people do feel more comfortable in the privacy of their home, in their room at their own computer asking those questions, it certainly a much more comfortable environment. Sex, Etc. was a newsletter that started in the mid 90's that was distributed to teens through schools and it became a magazine in 2006. The first issue was the spring 2006 issue, so we've been a four-color magazine since then. And there's also the website sexetc.org, which was started in 1999 and we get about 25,000 unique visitors a day which is not to say that teens don't feel comfortable talking to their parents because some teens do talk to their parents and we'd like to encourage them to talk to their parents about these issues. But the website does provide a nice anonymous space to get questions answered honestly. We're trying to make sure teens have basic information about their bodies, puberty, birth control, abstinence all of those topics that they would have questions about as a team. You know, there are handfuls of other sites that provide information to teens. We are the only site the provides content written by teens for teens on sexuality and sexual-- -I'm Karen Shacola and I'm 17 years old. -I'm Ali Hoff and I'm 18 years old. -Parents should definitely take a look at Sex, Etc. just because there are a lot of questions that teens need to ask that they may not know the answer to. I would suggest that parents go directly to their teens and let them know that they're open for them to talk to and not being embarrassed. But I think teens, no matter what are gonna be embarrassed and nervous to talk to their parents. So that's why website like sexetc.org is really helpful for them because there are certain questions you just don't wanna ask to your parents. -Sometimes my girl friends come and like to talk to me about sex. They have questions-- instead of going on to the site, they just come to me personally. And it's great, because even if I don't know the answer, I can just ask my editor or ask someone I work with and-- but usually, I do know the answer which is nice, and I like-- I like giving them information that they need in helping them stay safe. -If you're a teen, parent or a teacher that looking for information about sexual health, go to www.sexetc.org or go to the website and click subscribe to have the magazine delivered to your house. -Even in the best relationships, the subject sex is a tough one for parents or teens to initiate. But remember, you should be the primary resource for your kids. If you're having trouble but wanna provide your teen with the best information, check out credible sources to get the facts kids need to know about sex. -Thank you for watching Parents TV. Our families, our lives.